alternative energy

40 articles

Podcast: What’s Next for Green Energy?

Here’s why diversity is the best path forward for alternative fuels.

Click here to play podcast Today’s infrastructure, with its aging roads, bridges and ports, is arguably the largest hurdle for alternative fuels and the energy sources of tomorrow. Efficiency, technology and scale are also major barriers to the wider adoption of green energy. So what is the path forward? And how do we take an […]

Environmental Sustainability Is Hiding Within Your Business

Here's a road map to unlocking value while reducing your carbon footprint.

For decades, supply chain specialists focused on wringing every ounce of value or saving the most amount of time by optimizing the movement of goods. At the same time, sustainability specialists focused on reducing carbon emissions and environmental impact. In some cases, these two very different goals were aligned. But all too often, the objectives […]

Investing in Innovative Technology Can Drive Sustainable Growth

The private sector now has a greater responsibility and opportunity to advance social and environmental agendas.

The last few years have been transformational for climate diplomacy. In 2015, we witnessed the first legally binding global climate deal with the Paris Agreement, and last year’s COP22 conference saw governments and businesses reaffirm their commitments to sustainable growth. These events, coupled with a groundswell of public pressure, leave no doubt that working toward […]

Disruption at the Edge: IoT Transforming Energy Grids

Utilizing the power of the Internet of Things would enhance sustainable practices.

Digital disruption is here to stay. Much like the electronic revolution that led to PCs, mobile phones and smart devices, energy grids are on the verge of a major change. Consider the network of power plants, utilities and power lines comprising energy grids, for a moment. What you effectively have is the largest machine in […]

Carbon Neutrality and the Next Phase of Business Sustainability

Can businesses take the lead on transforming our society into a more sustainable environment?

Solutions to climate change require new types of aggressive thinking. While global treaties to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are important, they are not enough. Eventually society has to go carbon neutral, and then it has to go carbon negative. Consider Kevin Butt, regional environmental sustainability director for Toyota Motor North America, and his charge to […]

How Solar Energy Will Power the Future

A Q&A with UPS Director of Facilities Procurement Bill Moir.

UPS recently announced plans to invest $18 million in solar power for eight facilities across the United States, part of the company’s long-standing commitment to sustainability and alternative energy sources. The Longitudes team sat down with UPS solar expert Bill Moir to discuss the investment and solar power’s potential for the future: First off, what is solar […]

Does Your Supply Chain Strategy Hold Water?

How conserving water can slow supply chain disruption and garner future rewards.

Companies have come a long way in their ability to manage supply chain risk, but they urgently need to step up their efforts in one key area: water scarcity. The Carbon Disclosure Project’s (CDP) 2016 Annual Report of Corporate Water Disclosure, published in November 2016, provides a wake-up call. A total of 607 of the […]

4 Steps Toward Sustainability

Improving your company’s sustainability goals requires delving into the unknown.

Picture a 9-month-old baby attempting to walk. She toddles a few steps, stumbles and falls. If she’s ready, curious and committed, she hoists herself up again. And again. This process takes time and effort. In the same way, companies are finding their way in environmental sustainability. As consumers increasingly seek sustainable products and services, many […]

The Business Case for Sustainability

Companies like Nespresso are using sustainability in competitive ways. Is yours?

Myth: You can’t afford to be sustainable unless you’re a big company. Fact: It’s good business to be sustainable – for companies big and small. We’ve made the case for sustainability all week here on Longitudes, sharing stories of how leaders in government and business are finding innovative ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Now […]

Making Sustainability Go

Welcome to Sustainability Week on Longitudes.

Yes, the climate is changing. Greenhouse gas emissions are on the rise. And cities are becoming more crowded every day, among a litany of other urgent global issues. But this is also a moment of tremendous opportunity. Consumers, businesses and governments are putting their minds together to change how we power our increasingly connected world. […]

Clean Fuel Just Got Easier

Climate and sustainability data for fleet owners, all in one place.

On the few days a year when I get to drive through the American West or across the Great Plains, I envy our commercial drivers. They’re making tens of thousands of trips through emerald forests, over snow-capped mountains and past golden prairies on daily drives that fuel the U.S. economy. And while they’re under pressure […]

Paving the Road for the Future of Transportation

Driving sustainable transportation forward.

Mark Frohnmayer had a pretty specific checklist when he was looking to buy an electric car a decade ago. He wanted a vehicle that suited his travel needs, boasted a premium build quality and helped move the needle in terms of climate change. Frohnmayer couldn’t find such an automobile, so he took matters into his […]

Where Innovation Sets Sail

In the light-speed internet era, why port cities are vital.

Changes from one era to the next happen when mega trends converge at the same time. We have seen this before, when ocean-going trading ships enlarged the horizon and traders discovered new cultures, when widespread railway networks allowed steam engine technology to distribute to remote areas, when new fuel techniques allowed automobiles and airplanes to […]

The Urgency of Unfinished Business

The innovation that has spurred cleaner, more efficient transportation must continue to accelerate.

­­­­The following is an edited version of a speech Carlton Rose, president of UPS Global Fleet Maintenance & Engineering, gave May 2 at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in Long Beach, California. A short decade or so ago, oil was at $147 a barrel. Oil producers were telling us to brace for $170 or […]

Harnessing Big Data for Big Change

We need more sustainable solutions to face our world's game-changing issues.

If someone told me when I first joined UPS as an engineer that I would one day be discussing the role of data in sustainability, I would have been taken aback. Now, after decades of working in sustainability across various functions at UPS, I see how an engineer’s obsession with data is helpful in addressing […]

Oceans in Crisis

Urgent action needed to enhance the health and resilience of the bodies of water that sustain our world.

The importance of the world’s oceans cannot be overstated. They supply 50% of the oxygen we breathe, feed billions of people, and provide livelihoods for millions more. They are the great biological pump of global atmospheric and thermal regulation, and the drivers of the water and nutrient cycles. And they are among the most powerful […]

Rifkin’s Revolution

UPS Speaker Series presents noted author and thinker Jeremy Rifkin on Feb. 24.

We’re not big on self-promotion here at Longitudes. We think the content we serve up on a variety of subjects on a daily basis is our best advertising. But today we’re making an exception because we don’t want you to miss an opportunity to hear firsthand from one of the best-respected, big-idea guys of our […]

Engineering an Energy Miracle

There are promising ways for countries to build a more energy-efficient infrastructure.

Looking back at the last decade in energy and climate policy evokes mixed feelings. Progress toward a more sustainable economy has been alarmingly slow. But there have been some promising recent developments. For a long time, it was difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The global economic crisis, together with […]

Light it Up!

What one entrepreneur learned when he turned the lights on for millions without electricity.

Ned Tozun is co-founder of d.light, a social enterprise that makes solar-powered products for people living without access to electricity in the developing world. In this interview, he talks about the patience required to meet the exacting demands of a market in which distribution is an even greater challenge than product design. Below is a full transcript […]

Fighting Global Warming with Frugal Innovation

Businesses can do more with less.

Heads of state from around the world have gathered in Paris with a lofty goal — no less than saving the world. While political leaders seek an international agreement to keep global warming from threatening human existence, business leaders are confronted with their own challenge: how to achieve a sustainable model for growth. The challenge […]

How Alternative Fuels Will Power Global Commerce

Want to chart a sustainable path for a warming world? It begins with commercially viable green energy.

The global population will race past 9 billion by the year 2050, fueling a boom in energy use around the world. You need not be a math whiz to know this growth could leave a massive carbon footprint. From a logistics perspective, this quandary is particularly vexing. As logisticians, we’re tasked with getting people whatever […]

The Fate of the Earth

The lives of billions of people will be at stake when world leaders meet in Paris at the end of the month.

The lives of billions of people, for centuries to come, will be at stake when world leaders and government negotiators meet at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris at the end of the month. The fate of an unknown number of endangered species of plants and animals also hangs in the balance. At […]

8 Ways to Ensure Innovation Benefits All of Us

The current focus on technology within UN debates is heartening, but above all, the SDGs must remain resolutely people-centered.

This is part of a series on the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, in collaboration with the Stockholm Resilience Centre. This article focuses on goal 9 – Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation. Sustainable Development Goal 9 calls for resilient infrastructure and inclusive, sustainable industrialization, and also refers to the need to […]

The Changing Climate on Climate Change

A growing realization that rising global temperatures are not simply an environmental concern provides reason to hope that world leaders are finally ready to address the problem in an effective way.

In the early 1990s, when I was Prime Minister of Norway, I once found myself debating sustainable development with an opposition leader who insisted that I tell him the government’s single most important priority in that field. Frustrated, I replied that what he was asking was impossible to answer. I concluded our exchange by explaining […]

Why Renewable Energy is Not Enough

Alternative fuels must also be sustainable to meet the mounting, global need for energy.

Due to growing world population and increasing wealth, demand for energy – specifically electricity – is rising, especially for the 1.3 billion people who don’t have access. The most commonly used source for electricity production today is coal; 41 percent of all electricity is produced from coal, according to the World Coal Association. Due to […]

From Garbage to Gas

Landfills and other sources of organic waste could become a massive pipeline for cleaner fuel.

What was once the I-95 landfill near Lorton, Virginia, is now dozens of acres of rolling green fields dotted by more than 200 metal pipes emerging from the grass. The pipes – wellheads for natural gas – are collecting methane generated by more than 10 million tons of decomposing garbage dumped by Washington, D.C.-area residents […]

Staying the Course on Alternative Fuel

Despite a renaissance in petroleum use, sustainable energy is still a long-term investment.

UPS has been in the alternative fuels business for a long time. In fact, we’ve been plugging in electric vehicles since before it was cool — as far back as the early 1930s. The larger our company grew over time, the more we, like others, became dependent on cheap, reliable petroleum fuels. Today, our worldwide […]

The Future of Fuels

New briefs outline sustainability impacts of five commercial trucking fuels.

When it comes to commercial trucking, customers, regulators, and other stakeholders all agree that in today’s climate-constrained world, we need more environmentally friendly fuels. But given the different demands required to solve for myriad sustainability issues—from biofuel mandates to California’s Low-Carbon Fuel Standard—fleet owners and truck operators can feel like they are being pulled in […]

The Solar Price Revolution

The time to invest in large-scale solar energy production is now.

A silent revolution is under way. In November, Dubai announced the construction of a solar energy park that will produce electricity for less than $0.06 per kilowatt-hour – undercutting the cost of the alternative investment option, a gas or coal-fired power plant. The plant – which is expected to be operational in 2017 – is […]

Sustainable Energy Now

How developing countries are working toward a more sustainable future.

The world has never been closer to achieving the dream of a more sustainable and secure energy future. Renewable energy from the wind and sun is becoming competitive with fossil-fuel-based power generation, and oil prices are hitting lows not seen for years. These developments put us at the edge of a global energy transformation – […]